If the cable box has one redeeming quality, it’s the ability to flip on the TV and start watching something. No disrespect to video streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, but sometimes finding the perfect video feels like too much effort.
That’s why as a cord cutter I’ve been enjoying Pluto.TV, a free service that tries to mimic the cable box experience, only with Internet channels instead of traditional ones. Pluto’s website and apps offer dozens of channels, ranging from mainstream news to stand-up comedy to extreme sports, all strung together from web sources such as YouTube and Vimeo. There’s even an entire channel dedicated to cat videos (and another one for dogs). It has a desktop website and dedicated apps for Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, iOS, Android, and PC, and it also supports Chromecast.
Pluto.TV has flown under the radar since launching last year, but it made the news by last week by striking a deal with Hulu. The arrangement brings shows such as Seinfeld and The Daily Show to Pluto’s website, on Hulu-specific channels such as “Late Night Catchup” and “Joss Whedon Shows.”
The Hulu deal is a big step for Pluto.TV, which otherwise can feel a bit like watching television in an alternate reality where you don’t recognize any of the shows. While Hulu’s presence comes with some strings attached, I’m hoping it’s just the beginning of more long-form content on Pluto, and that it brings more attention to a service that has largely gone unnoticed.
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